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By Matt ten-Hoeve on 4/12/2024 8:31 AM

UFC 300 Preview

April 11, 2024

Ladies and gentlemen…it’s here! UFC 300, the mega card, takes place this Saturday, April 13th from the fight capital of the world - Las Vegas. It will feature 13 loaded fights and will include 18 ranked fighters, 12 of which are current or former champions. This card, from top to bottom, is absolutely stacked with a full night of “can’t miss” matchups. I truly cannot wait for when the Early Prelims start at 6 PM on Saturday!

Say what you will about the main event or how 300 is just a number…the UFC put together an excellent card that will keep fight fans entertained from start to finish. When you take a look at the complete card below, you’ll notice that this event is unlike any other - there are bangers starting at 6 PM on the Early Prelims that continue all the way to the main event.

Along with that, Dana White decided to make the bonuses $300K instead of the normal $50K. Not only does that blow my mind (seriously…it takes me five years to make $300K, but I never get to see any of it), but it gives all of the fighters incentive to put on a show and hunt for finishes. I really picked the wrong profession…

Without further ado, let’s take a look at this card…

Main Card - 10pm ET on ESPN+ PPV

(c) Alex Pereira vs. Jamahal Hill - UFC Light Heavyweight Championship

(c) Zhang Weili vs. Yan Xiaonan - UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship

Justin Gaethje vs. Max Holloway - BMF Title Fight

Charles Oliveira vs. Arman Tsarukyan - Lightweight

Bo Nickal vs. Cody Brundage - Middleweight

Prelims - 8pm ET on ESPN/ESPN+

Jiri Prochazka vs. Aleksandar Rakic - Light Heavyweight

Aljamain Sterling vs. Calvin Kattar - Featherweight

Kayla Harrison vs. Holly Holm - Women’s Bantamweight

Sodiq Yusuff vs. Diego Lopes - Featherweight

Early Prelims - 6pm ET on ESPN/ESPN+

Jalin Turner vs. Renato Moicano - Lightweight

Jessica Andrade vs. Marina Rodriguez - Women’s Flyweight

Jim Miller vs. Bobby Green - Lightweight

Cody Garbrandt vs. Deiveson Figueiredo - Men’s Bantamweight

Cody Garbrandt vs. Deiveson Figueiredo

When Cody Garbrandt and Deiveson Figueiredo are opening up a UFC event, you know that the card is stacked. Cody Garbrandt had an unsuccessful dabble into Flyweight, but has two straight wins since going back to the Bantamweight Division where he is a former champion. After four straight fights against Brandon Moreno at Flyweight, Deiveson Figueiredo is a ranked (#8) Bantamweight after one fight in the division. Both of these men seem to be back on track and ready to make a run up the division. They both have mentioned wanting another shot at gold, so a win here will get them a step closer. Cody is one of the hardest punchers in the division, so he’ll be looking for a KO. Deiveson has a lot of power, as well, but is also very comfortable on the ground. Figueiredo may have the advantage in overall skills, but this fight will come down to who is able to dictate the style of fight.

Jim Miller vs. Bobby Green

I seriously can’t wait for this fight. I’ve actually been waiting for this fight for a long time, as have all fight fans, because this will be the fourth time that Jim Miller and Bobby Green have been attached to each other for a fight. Unfortunately, the first three times didn't work out, but things look good this time around. As long as nothing wonky happens, Jim Miller will become the only person to fight on UFC 100, 200, and 300. His longevity is unmatched, holding the UFC records for fights and wins. At 40 years old, he has already put the rumors to bed - he’s not retiring on Saturday. Coming into this fight at 5-1 in his last six fights allows that to make sense and fight fans rejoiced in hearing that. Jim “Fucking” Miller has definitely found the Fountain of Youth. He’ll have a great chance at putting on a “Fight of the Night” against Bobby Green who always goes hard. Bobby had a really fun 2023, scoring wins over Tony Ferguson and putting a stop to the Grant Dawson train. He’ll be looking to get a big win here over the crowd favorite Miller. He’ll also be head hunting, as the $300K bonus announcement got him super excited. You never know where the fight is going to go with Bobby Green in the Octagon, but if it goes to the ground, Jim Miller will have a solid chance. It will be tough, though, to bet against the #14 ranked Lightweight in Bobby Green, though.

Jessica Andrade vs. Marina Rodriguez 

The #4 Women’s Strawweight (Jessica Andrade) vs. the #6 Women’s Strawweight (Marina Rodriguez) being the third fight of the night is absolutely bonkers. I’ve said it a few times already and I’ll continue to say it, but that’s just how stacked this card is. Andrade had a tough 2023 for most of the year. In her interviews this week, Jessica admitted that 2023 was tough both mentally and inside the Octagon (she had three straight losses to start the year). However, she had a renewed focus and was able to put away Mackenzie Dern in December to get back on track. Andrade has legitimate knockout power, but will be going up against a very tough Marina Rodriguez. Rodriguez also has good power and seems to be back on track, as well, after getting a win in September after two straight losses. If this fight stays standing, Andrade will probably have the power advantage. She is a bit susceptible to a submission, though, so Rodriguez may look to take this fight to the ground. Either way, whoever wins will be either close or next in line for a title fight. An impressive finish will help the winner’s case in what is next for them.

Jalin Turner vs. Renato Moicano

This was a bit of a late addition to the card and will serve as the featured Early Prelim. This was a nice surprise when it was announced, as both men are tough. “Money” Moicano loves his bonuses, so he’ll be looking to go after Turner, for sure. Renato has become a crowd favorite, but has had his ups and downs in the UFC. He’ll take two steps forward and then one back, as he struggles to string together more than two wins in a row. He’ll look to put a stop to that, as a win over Turner would be three wins a row for him for the first time in the promotion. Jalin Turner will make that tough, though. He is 6-2 in his last eight fights, with the two losses being split decisions. Both of these men are very well-rounded, but Jalin Turner’s consistency has him coming in as the betting favorite. Either way, whoever wins will probably get a small bump in the Lightweight rankings (Turner is #10, while Moicano is #13) and secure a featured fight in the division their next time out.

Sodiq Yusuff vs. Diego Lopes

A card like this one is a beautiful buffet of matchups. On a card filled with mostly big names, this fight will feature two big time up-and-comers in the Featherweight Division. Sodiq Yusuff has made more of a name for himself in the UFC, including being featured in a main event last year (a losing effort) against Edson Barboza. Since debuting on Dana White’s Contender Series, Yusuff has gone 7-2, with his two losses being against fighters at the tippy top of the division (Barboza and Arnold Allen). His seven wins have him at #13 in the division currently, which presents a phenomenal opportunity to allow Diego Lopes to get a number next to his name if he continues his impressive run on Saturday. Lopes came out of nowhere last year and had a really fun 2023. He almost beat Movsar Evloev in April in the Fight of the Night. After that, he earned two Performances of the Night in his wins against Gavin Tucker (by submission) and Pat Sabatini (by KO). With only three UFC fights under his belt, Lopes has won over the fans and the UFC has set him up to not only be featured on this monumental card, but also have the opportunity to become a ranked fighter in the Featherweight Division. Yusuff’s UFC experience will have to be heavily relied upon in order to stay calm and protect his number against the surging Lopes.

Kayla Harrison vs. Holly Holm

This fight is huge…and it’s on the Prelims. What?! This card is truly stacked. Kayla Harrison finally makes it to the UFC after leaving PFL to take on the future Hall of Famer, Holly Holm. Holm will try to put an end to hype again by taking out another Judo superstar in Harrison. She did it once with Ronda Rousey, but can lightning strike twice? Holm will have the advantage on the feet, as she is a highly decorated boxer. She has showcased excellent hands and has done a great job of incorporating kickboxing into her attack. While Harrison has shown that she also has power, she must get Holm on the ground. In doing so, she’ll finally be able to use her elbows again (since PFL doesn’t allow them during the season). Actually, let me correct that…she’ll be able to use her HELLbows again. Her ground and pound is excellent and Holm may not have an answer for it if it goes there. The biggest question coming into this fight was whether Kayla could make weight, as she has never fought at Bantamweight before. However, she has looked in great shape and spirits during the week and seems ready for the division. A win over the #5 Holly Holm will catapult Kayla Harrison’s UFC career. A loss, though, will allow Holly Holm to have a possible claim to one more title shot.

Aljamain Sterling vs. Calvin Kattar

Calvin Kattar will be stepping into the Octagon for the first time since October 2022 when he injured his knee. He is also coming in at 3-4 in his last seven fights, with a two fight losing streak. He has a lot to prove - to both himself and the MMA world. He’ll be trying to start his road back while also gatekeeping. Aljamain Sterling finally decided to move up to the Featherweight Division. Despite the new division, he is coming in as the betting favorite and his sights are set on the division title. A win over the tough, #8 ranked Featherweight will not only get Aljamain a number next to his name in the division, but also the ability to throw his name into the mix at the top of the division. A Sterling that cuts less weight might just be a very scary fighter for those in front of him.

Jiri Prochazka vs. Aleksandar Rakic

The featured Prelim between Prochazka and Rakic is a legitimate main event on most other cards. It’s great to see Rakic back after two years off due to injury. He was supposed to fight in January, but things fell apart. Being featured on UFC 300 isn’t so bad, though! Despite being out for a while, he was able to retain his #5 ranking. With a big win here, he will be able to throw his name in the title contender hat. Jiri Prochazka is not going to make that easy, though. The intense, modern day samurai is looking to come back from his loss to Alex Pereira last year. He waited a long time to try and get his title back and came up short. However, a win here could put him right back in a spot to try again. Both men have not fought much over the last few years, so it will be interesting to see how much of a feeling out process there will be. If they can get comfortable, though, then a $300K bonus just might be handed out.

Bo Nickal vs. Cody Brundage

A lot of people were not thrilled to see this fight on the main card. I can certainly understand it, as there are definitely bigger names and more proven fighters lower on the card. However, like I said earlier in this preview - a card like this should be a buffet of matchups. This fight has a clear purpose: showcase Bo Nickal and give him someone who will be his hardest test to date. No offense to Cody Brundage, who is super tough, but the UFC is doing their best to tell fight fans that Bo Nickal is special and to expect big things from him. Honestly, it’s hard to argue against Nickal. He has been impressive and has shown improvements in his stand up. The decorated wrestler will look to go 6-0 with a win against Brundage and continue his journey through the Middleweight Division. Brundage, a former wrestler himself, would love to be a speed bump in Nickal’s hype train. Nickal tends to rise to the occasion, though, and will probably rely on his ground game, if needed. 

Charles Oliveira vs. Arman Tsarukyan

This is an absolute banger of a fight that could headline most UFC cards. Two of the Top 5 Lightweights will do battle and the winner has basically been promised a shot at the champion their next time out. Oliveira has only lost once since 2018 with that loss coming against the current champion, Islam Makhachev. He is an all-around stud, but is super dangerous on the ground. At only 27 years of age, Arman Tsarukyan also has a loss against Makhachev, but that was back in 2019. He’d love another shot at him to show how much better he has gotten in the last five years. Tsarukyan is also dangerous all over, but packs a heavy punch. Oliveira will probably try to take this fight to the ground where he has an edge. If it stays on the feet, though, then both men have a puncher’s chance. This will be fun!

Justin Gaethje vs. Max Holloway

BMF Title or not, this fight should make you want to stop everything, clear your schedule, and get in front of a screen. These two men are going to give it their all and put on a show. Holloway will be coming up to Lightweight for this fight, so it’ll be interesting to see how his body responds to cutting less weight. Gaethje is no stranger to BMF Title fights, winning one last year against Dustin Poirier. Both of these men only know one direction - forward. Because of that, expect this fight to get some kind of a bonus. I can’t wait for this one!

(c) Zhang Weili vs. Yan Xiaonan 

It’s kind of crazy to say that the #1 ranked Women’s Strawweight, Yan Xiaonan, is going to have her hands full, but that’s basically what is happening. The champion, Zhang Weili, is an absolute beast. Seriously - she has no flaws. If you were to design a complete, dominant fighter, you’d use Zhang Weili as the mold. The only person to have Weili figured out, so far, is Rose Namajunas (Weili’s only two losses). Yan certainly has a chance, though, to prove everyone wrong. She has both a puncher’s chance and the ability to bring Weili into deep waters. While Weili is still looking super strong, this might be her toughest bout since Namajunas.

(c) Alex Pereira vs. Jamahal Hill

A lot of people hated the announcement of this main event. That’s Dana White’s fault, in my humble opinion. He promised a mind-blowing fight despite not having a plan for one. Therefore, when this fight was announced, fans had built up other fantasy showdowns in their mind. Let’s get one thing straight, though - fantasy matchup or not, this main event is incredible. Both men have done amazing things since joining the UFC. For Jamahal Hill, he only has one loss since entering the UFC in 2019. He had to relinquish his Light Heavyweight Title due to injury, so he is coming in motivated and ready to prove that he’s the uncrowned champion in his first fight back since said injury. He’ll be facing off against a legitimate monster, though, in Alex Pereira. When not cutting weight, Pereira makes some Heavyweights look normal-sized. He rose through the Middleweight Division quickly, winning its title, before moving into the Light Heavyweight Division and claiming its title. He is a scary man who has ridiculously heavy strikes. Hill is no slouch and seems focused on taking down the champion, though. This may come down to who is able to get in a clean shot first.

My Picks

Alex Pereira

Zhang Weili

Justin Gaethje

Charles Oliveira

Bo Nickal

Jiri Prochazka

Aljamain Sterling

Kayla Harrison

Diego Lopes

Renato Moicano

Jessica Andrade

Bobby Green

Deiveson Figueiredo

That, my fight friends, is UFC 300. It’s truly an incredible card that I am excited to watch. Not only are the matchups mostly bangers, but there are two championship fights (three, if you count the BMF Title) and contendership/rankings implications. I expect some fun callouts in the post-fight interviews with many people on the card feeling like they deserve a title/featured fight. Plus, with the announcement of the $300K bonuses, expect everyone to be going for finishes.

What do you think of UFC 300? Are you looking forward to it as much as I am? Who do you have picked as the winners? Which fights are you looking forward to the most? Let me know at I’ll be back soon to look at how both PFL 2 and UFC 300 shook out. I can’t wait to see what happens! See you then!